I’ve always been “mature for my age”… which was all fine and good, until I actually started getting older. I don’t want to sound like Andy Rooney (will the kidz even GET that reference), because I believe growing older is a beautiful thing… but sometimes I’m startled at how unnoticeably it has happened. It got me to thinking. So, here, in no particular order, are my Top 10 signs that you are getting older:
- You hear yourself using words like, “insurance premium rates,” and “kids these days.” I, in all seriousness, used the phrase today, “MAN, kids these days start school so early. I remember not starting school until after Labor Day!” Anytime you start a phrase with, “I remember when…” is a clear indicator that you are getting older.
- You can no longer chew gum because it messes with your dental work. The fact that you are concerned with your dental work AT ALL means you’ve turned into an adult. Knowing that I can talk, en length, about how glad I am that I used my FLEX money to get a schmancy night guard leads me to believe that I might be getting older.
- Your weekends no longer consist of binge drinking and are instead replaced by binge Netflixing. Weekends are just a different breed of animal than they were 10 years ago. Things like going to Trader Joes or Bed, Bath, and Beyond get me excited. This past Saturday, Jojo and I roasted a chicken, I painted my toenails, and we watched the entire first season of Veep; not exactly hitting the scene, you know?! I can’t tell you the number of Friday nights that I just came home from work and went to bed.
- And speaking of binge drinking… on the two to four nights a year that you actually DO party hard, you PAY severely for it the next several days. Yeah, hangovers have always been terrible… but back in the old days (see! already doing it) some water, an Excedrin and a trip to the Waffle House was all it took to get me back on my feet the next day. As I’ve gotten older, my ability to bounce back has drastically decreased. Now, a night of heavy drinking leaves me with joint pain, a headache for days, and other maladies that remind me why I don’t do it frequently anymore.
- Yeah… joint pain. Young folks don’t talk about joint pain! Knees, elbows, ankles, shoulders… your body is getting older and its letting you know it. All that soft, cushy cartilage is getting old with you. Which is why you start trying to take better care of it. Its the only one you’re going to get, you know. It’s all about preventative damage. “Preventative damage” should go up in #1 as a phrase adults use.
- Birthdays aren’t an international holiday anymore. Growing up, I used to have at least 3 birthday parties: one at school, one with my friends, and one with my family. Birthday festivities lasted for a few weeks. I think the first time that you have to work on your birthday is when it really hits home that birthdays are also just Wednesdays or whenever they happen to land. I still think birthdays should be a thing with a deal, but you get what I’m saying.
- And speaking of saying things… another sign you are getting older is when you can hear your parents voice coming out of your mouth… and you GET IT. I have had times where as the words were coming out of my mouth, I became startled because I sounded like my parents. As you get older, parents aren’t the “enemy” anymore… you can actually see them as peers who no longer sit atop a pedestal. You get it! You get their fears and concerns. Understanding, though, is a beautiful thing, I think.
- You truly understand the importance of fiber.
- You start worrying more about specific numbers: cholesterol, SPF, APRs… these are all legitimate concerns to me now. My only worries in college were whether I had enough money to get pizza or if I had studied enough for a test. Okay, these weren’t my only worries, but you get my point.
- And those are my top 10. What? There are only 9? Oh. I forgot. Because that’s another sign you are getting older. Memory and knowledge retention is something we could discuss all day, but I am amazed at how quickly I can forget an exit number or street name just seconds after Josh has told me the directions. This hasn’t always been the case.
Sometimes growing older is less glamorous than you would like it to be. But growing older just means that now you are smarter. It’s beauty is revealed in it’s own phrase, “growing older.” You are growing and changing. And growth is always good. Except for chin hairs… but your eyesight will be so bad soon that you won’t even know it. So, you can still go to that concert and stand close to the stage… but now you know to bring the foam ear plugs that you got when they were on sale… because kids these days don’t know the permanent damage you can do to your hearing.
What are YOUR signs that you’ve gotten older?